A DUO who completed the North Coast 500, otherwise known as the Scottish Route 66, have raised more than £6,000 for charity.

David Hanley, from Old Drumchapel, and Joe Merrick from Knightswood, battled through wind and rain for 10 days during a 516-mile-long cycle.

The pair were on holiday in Perpignan, France, last August when they came up with the idea. While telling friends about their challenge they managed to gain another two members willing to join them – Andrew Mason and Colin Walker.

Joe said: “Our average age is 62, but our average weight will remain a secret.

“In January the hard work of preparation began and the enormity of the challenge, for a group who are predominantly pensioners, became very real.

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“From the Duke’s Pass in The Trossachs to the Nick o’ Balloch in South Ayrshire, we cycled them all.”

Before setting off on May 17, Andrew had to pull out due to an emergency operation, leaving the three others to start their journey.

The following day, disaster struck when Colin was taken to hospital with a broken collar bone after he was thrown off his bike on a badly signposted railway crossing in Garve.

However, David and Joe, determined to finish, continued their journey taking in the 2,054 feet Bealach na Ba, and finishing off in Inverness on May 27, where they originally started.

They celebrated with a well-earned champagne and whisky reception.

The two charities benefitting from the duo’s efforts are Antonine Court, which provides day opportunities for people with a learning or physical disability, and DEBRA, which has a shop in Clyde Shopping Centre, and supports those directly affected by Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) – a potentially fatal skin condition that causes constant pain due to unstoppable internal and external blistering.